Issue 6

16th Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs vows continued hiring of Filipino seafarers

Issue 6 Cover Photo

HEADS OF delegations of the 16th Philippines-Netherlands Joint Committee on Maritime Affairs sign anew their resolves on maintaining maritime cooperation between both nations. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr is seated with counterpart Director of Maritime Affairs Brigit Gijsbers of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands this May 18th at the Hotel H2O in Manila, Philippines.

Story LeadThe Philippine delegation, composed mainly of members from the MARINA administration, presents ongoing undertakings on the following issues: the K-12 system; compliance and enforcement procedures related to maritime education and training institutions; the enhanced support level program, ESLP, which is scheduled for implementation this school year; transfer of functions from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to MARINA; the International Maritime Organization’s coordinated task force on technical assistance to the Philippines with the involvement of member nations Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway; the issuance and verification of certificates of proficiency (COPs) and competency (COCs); and the updating of maritime courses for compliance to the 2010 Manila Amendment on Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

Ms. Gijsbers appreciates the clear explanation on the aforementioned items. MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr meanwhile mentions that additional capacity building measures are being studied with Canada about e-learning or distance learning for seafarers, with the United Kingdom in areas related to inspection and with Finland regarding training on the administration of standards training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Mejia also specifies briefly the possibility of sending MARINA personnel to the Netherlands to learn of best practices in yet other aspects of maritime affairs.

Already, since the compliance requirement to the 2010 Manila Amendment, MARINA has set forth nine policies on the issuance of certificates where certificates of proficiency (COPs) issued has numbered almost two million. Also, a real-time certificate verification system for COC or COP, radio personnel (GMDSS), and marine deck officers and engineers are available at the STCWO website (

The Philippine delegation is headed by MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr with representatives from MARINA, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Philippine Ports Auhority, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureaus of Customs and of Immigration, the National Economic Development Authority, the Palompon Institute of Technology, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, of Transportation and Communications, of Education, of Health and the stakeholders.

On the other hand, members of the delegation from the Netherlands is composed of: Ringo Lakeman from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; Tineke Netelenbos and Tjitso Westra from the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners; Jan Willem Verhoeff and Albert Bos from the ScheepvartEn Transport College; and Netherlands Ambassadeur Marion Derckx with PLV Ambassadeur Ruth Emmerink and Patricia Alvenida.



More stories:
Shipyards formalize national association
Mejia leads oath-taking rites for first batch of passers of new computer-based exams
News of storm causes traffic queue in Matnog
Figures that matter


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Issue 5

“Communicate the good efforts done!” — Usec. Michael Musngi of the Office of the President

Issue 5 Cover Photo

THE MARITIME Industry Board meets regularly to discuss or approve matters, among its other powers and function, pertaining to the industry and is composed of DOTC Secretary, the MARINA Administrator, seated foreground-right, with other members from the Office of the President, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry; the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard with two observers from the private sector.

Story LeadDivision reports or updates include comprehensive discussions on urgent concerns regarding domestic shipping, the seeking for advice and recommendation for developmental rules and regulations, and developments on the implementation of the standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of seafarers.

Items on the agenda that needed further study are scheduled for another day of discussion. Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary. for Project Implementation and Special Concerns Julianito G. Bucayan Jr, who also presides the meeting, advises MARINA chiefs concerned to provide the Board with more situational information and more updates so the issues can be further explored and appropriately deliberated on in succeeding meetings.

Addressing MARINA administrator Dr. Maximo Q Mejia Jr with all the division chiefs present during the assembly, Undersecretary Musngi says, “The continuing efforts in this agency is what President Aquino desires. This is good management.” Adjournment follows after Usec. Bucayan expresses his appreciation for the presence of everyone.

Inset PhotoMeanwhile, in related developments, the Board also confirms Atty. Herschel F. Magracia as head of office for the Enforcement Service. The office is in charge of implementing a culture of safety through the “Ligtas Biyaheng Dagat” program for all passenger and non-passenger ships, among its other responsibilities. It is composed of the operations monitoring and the complaints and investigation divisions.

Magracia is also concurrent division chief for the legal division of the STCW (Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) office.

To reach the Enforcement Service, the office is situtated at the 3/F, Parkview Plaza, Taft Avenue corner T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila with email address; and telephone numbers 524-9126.



Other stories
PH, Germany discuss need for heightened cooperation in maritime transport
PH, Japan coast guards hold anti-piracy drills


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Issue 4

One-day IMO Conference ups PH resolve on safety of domestic ships operations
Manila Statement discusses enhancement of safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

FERRY PASSENGERS disembark ship that sailed from Aklan to the Port of Batangas.

Issue 4 LeadIMO’s continuous efforts and careful attention to improve the safety of sea and inland waters transport operations is part of its technical aid. The conference consists of a series of presentations from expert presentors and discussions with participants who shared knowledge and views on important issues affecting maritime industries.

The Manila Statement notes with great concern the unacceptable loss of lives and damage to environment and properties brought about by marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries. Though integral to national transport systems and usually the most affordable means of travel for the public and for transport of goods, domestic ferry operations is crucial for local economies. The statement is also conscious that operations of domestic ferries have environmental implications and that in some cases take place in environmentally sensitive areas.

Marine casualties and incidents can be avoided if adequate laws, regulations and rules are thoroughly developed, effectively implemented with a rigorous compliance oversight mechanism and vigorously enforced on a non-discriminatory manner and without interference.

Meanwhile, such laws, regulations and rules can only be:
(a) adequate if they address all foreseeable risks and include issues relating to the safety management and operation of such ships, including the education, training and proficiency of the shipboard personnel; and
(b) adequately implemented and enforced if the officials involved as surveyors and inspectors of ships, as auditors of safety management systems and as examiners for shipboard personnel and classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey, audit and certify for the compliance of domestic ferries and their employees have the required competencies.

The statement also recognizes the significant roles of:
(a) ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship radio communication services, the promulgation of weather forecasts and of the aids to navigation, including navigational charts, sailing directions and notices to mariners, in preventing marine casualties and incidents; and
(b) the search and rescue and emergency response services in mitigating the consequences of marine casualties.

The clauses recognized above strengthen the import of producing or providing reports of all marine casualties and incidents involving domestic ferries to marine safety investigation authorities; conducting marine safety investigation by skilled and competent investigators; identifying and publishing causal factors in marine safety investigation reports and the prompt and appropriate response and actions to identified causal factors.

Further, the statement recognizes that safety of domestic ferries is a shared responsibility between and among governments, local authorities, ship owners, ship managers, ship operators, shipboard personnel, maritime education and training institutions, classification societies and organizations which governments authorize to survey and certify for compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and rules; insurance providers, port authorities, port terminal owners and operators, and the public and civil society as users of the services provided.

Other prominent points requiring urgent attention included in the Manila Statement deal with tools in identification of hazards in fact finding and scoping study; setting of navigation areas for ASEAN countries; improvement and harmonization of safety standards under the ASEAN-Japan partnership project; guidelines for the purchase of second-hand ships, ships subject to change of route or area of operation, and ships subject to modification or conversion; and guidelines for the counting of persons on board, voyage planning, and enforcement activities undertaking by maritime administrations.

The intensive one-day conference is attended by delegations from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea. Also present are non-government observers from the International Chamber of Shipping, International Asoociation of Classification Societies, Interferry, the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association; observers from higher education institutions, World Maritime Universtity and University of Strathclyde (UK); and an obserserver from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, an inter- governmental organization.


Other stories:
IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu is conferred the Order of Sikatuna
What is the Order of Sikatuna?
CSC 2nd career service prof and sub-prof written exams slated Oct. 18
House delegation promotes PH role in global maritime affairs in Washington
Fellowship dinner follows IMO conference


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